Best Phones Under 200 (USD) – Top 10 List
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Best Phones Under $200 Dollars – Top 10 List

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With the best phones under $200, there are significant improvements in camera resolution, battery capacity, and processing speed compared to the best phones under $150.

Although I have examined over 200 phones released in the past three years from the best brands, the list I have come up with has phones that were mostly released in the past year.

So below are the Top 10 best phones under $200.

 

UPDATED: August 5, 2016

 

#1 – ASUS Zenfone Max ZC550KL (2016) (32 GB) (NEW!)


ASUS Zenfone MaxRelease Date: May 2016
Display: 5.5 inches (720 x 1280 pixels)
Camera: 13MP
Hardware: Snapdragon 615, Quad-core 1.5 GHz + quad-core 1.0 GHz, 3 GB RAM
Battery: 5000 mAh
Detailed Review

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

ASUS Zenfone Max ZC550KL (2016) has an upgraded chipset that comes with a faster CPU and graphics processor for smoother running of apps and games. It now has a 32 GB internal storage and the latest Android OS.

The battery life is still very outstanding and is one of the rare smartphones with the longest battery around. It has an excellent camera resolution, beautiful design, and contains the latest decent features that you will need.

 

#2 – Lenovo Vibe K5 (16 GB) (NEW!)


Lenovo-Vibe-K5Release Date: April 2016
Display: 5.0 inches (1280 x 720 pixels)
Camera: 13MP (1080p)
Hardware: Snapdragon 415, Quad-core 1.5 GHz + quad-core 1.2 GHz, 2GB RAM
Battery: 2750 mAh

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

The Lenovo Vibe K5 has an IPS display technology with 294 ppi pixel density. It runs on Android OS 5.1 (Lollipop).

It also has Dolby Atmos audio, can use up to 32GB through a microSD card, and can record Full HD videos. Other cool features are the 5MP front camera, LTE capability, Wi-Fi connectivity, FM radio, removable battery. It also comes in silver and gold variants.

 

#3 – LG Stylo 2 (NEW!)


LG Stylo 2Release Date: April 2016
Display: 5.7 inches (720 x 1280 pixels)
Camera: 13MP
Hardware: Snapdragon 410, Quad-core 1.2 GHz, 2GB RAM
Battery: 3000 mAh

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

The LG Stylo 2 is an excellent smartphone for a US$200 budget. It has a built-in stylus which is a feature normally found in more expensive smartphones. It has several improvements compared to last year’s LG G Stylo like an improved camera, much larger storage space, higher RAM, and thinner and lighter profile.

It has a very good of processing power, RAM, camera resolution, and storage capacity. It is certainly worth every penny.

 

#4 – LG K10 (NEW!)


LG K10Release Date: January 2016
Display: 5.3 inches (720 x 1280 pixels)
Camera: 13MP (1080p) (LTE model) | 8MP (3G model)
Hardware: Snapdragon 410, Quad-core 1.2 GHz, 1.0GB to 1.5GB RAM (depends on model)
Battery: 2300 mAh (removable)

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

The most impressive aspect of the LG K10 is the design. It has a smooth arc and stylish pebble design at the back.

The edges have no bumps since the volume and power button are at the back of the phone. Combined with the arc design, this phone is also very comfortable to hold.

The LG K10 features an IPS LCD display technology with 277 ppi pixel density, which may not be the best display quality around.

The internal storage is 8GB which can be expanded up to 32GB through a microSD card. It can also record Full HD videos and the battery life can last up to 16 hours of talk time.

Other cool features are LTE capability, 5MP front camera, Android OS 6.0 (Marshmallow), Wi-Fi, Hotspot, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, and FM Radio. It also comes in black, indigo, and white color variants.

 

#5 – HTC Desire Eye (16 GB)


Best Phones Under 200 (USD) - Top 10 ListRelease Date: November 2014
Display: 5.2 inches (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Camera: 13MP (1080p)
Hardware: Snapdragon 801, Quad-core 2300 MHz, 2GB RAM
Battery: 2400 mAh
See Full Technical Specifications

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

The best thing about this phone is its high resolution and its waterproof and dustproof features. It is IP certified so it’s perfect for taking underwater pictures.

It also has a very high pixel density of 424 ppi.  This makes the screen display very beautiful. The graphics are sharper which is perfect for high-resolution games. Combined with its 5.2 inches display, you will notice that even during web browsing, the pictures look a lot better and the texts are easier to read.

I really like phones with better displays. Who doesn’t want that? Phones today are not just for calling and sending SMS. You look at it or use it many times in a day than any other things you own. So a beautiful and sharper display is one of the features that really matters.

Another thing that I like about this phone is the processing speed and high RAM. So even if you play games with very high graphics, it won’t be a problem. You can also expand its memory with a 128GB microSD card.

 

#6 – Huawei Honor 6 (16 GB) – (NEW!) – From $250 Category


Huawei Honor 6Release Date: August 2014
Display: 5.0 inches (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Camera: 13MP
Hardware: HiSilicon Kirin 920, Octa-core 1700 MHz, 3GB RAM
Battery: 3000 mAh
See Full Technical Specifications

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

This phone has a very good processing speed. You can expand the storage up to 32GB through microsSD. It is LTE-enabled, with Wi-Fi connectivity, and GPS technology.

 

#7 – Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (16 GB) – (NEW!) – From $250 Category


Best Phones Under 250 (USD) - Top 10 ListDisplay: 4.3 inches (720 x 1280 pixels)
Camera: 20.7MP (1080p)
Hardware: Snapdragon 800, Quad-core 2200 MHz, 2GB RAM
Battery: 2300 mAh
See Full Technical Specifications

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

 

If you like normal size phones, this is like the Xperia Z1, but smaller. Like the larger version, the Z1 Compact is IP58 certified – dust proof and waterproof – with a super high 20.7MP camera resolution. So if you are swimming or snorkeling, you can really have a good grip on the phone compared to the larger version.

Like the larger version, it has the same processing speed, Full HD video recording, FM radio, 64GB microSD card slot.

 

#8 – Lenovo Vibe X2 (32 GB) – (NEW!) – From $250 Category


Best Phones Under 250 (USD) - Top 10 ListDisplay: 5.0 inches (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Camera: 13MP (1080p)
Hardware: MT6595M, Octa-core 2000 MHz, 2GB RAM
Battery: 2300 mAh
See Full Technical Specifications

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

 

This phone has a very high pixel density of 441 ppi. It has a very good display resolution and 13MP rear camera. I really like the design and form, you should see the pictures in the full technical specs page.

In terms of speed, it is faster that its successor. If 32GB internal memory is already enough to store your files, that is good, because it does not have a microSD card slot like the iPhones. Other cool features include a 5MP front camera and FM radio.

 

#9 – HTC One M8 (NEW!) – From $300 Category


HTC One M8Release Date: March 2014
Display: 5.0 inches (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Camera: 4MP Duo (1080p)
Hardware: Snapdragon 801, Quad-core 2300 MHz, 2GB RAM
Battery: 2600 mAh
See Full Technical Specifications

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

This phone can use a microSD up to 128GB which will allow you to save more videos and pictures. You can also select from Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver, and Amber Gold.

It has a very powerful chipset that is designed for premium smartphones so you will defintely experience a fast and smooth running of apps and games. It can also connect to LTE and Wi-Fi, record Full HD videos, and use GPS technology.

 

#10 – LG G4 Beat (8GB) – (NEW!) – From $250 Category


Best Phones Under 250 (USD) - Top 10 ListDisplay: 5.2 inches (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Camera: 13MP (1080p)
Hardware: Snapdragon 615, Octa-core 1500 MHz, 1.5GB RAM
Battery: 2300 mAh
See Full Technical Specifications

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

 

 

The phone is also very fast to run heavy apps and games. The design is like the G4, but in a more compact form that gives a perfect grip.

Other awesome features include a 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, Full HD video recording, and 32GB microSd card slot.

 

Which of the Top 10 smartphones did you like? I would like to hear from you. Just leave your comment in the comments section below. 😃

 

23 thoughts on “Best Phones Under $200 Dollars – Top 10 List

  1. Hey chris,
    Thanks for this guide. You have listed really the best phones under $200 here. One of my friend recently bought Asus Zenfone Laser. It is really a great phone. I love its camera and even its touch display is great.

    1. Hey Brij, I am glad I could help. I think your friend made a good choice. The Asus Zenfone Laser’s camera has a good resolution and HD display. If you like sharper displays, with the same budget, you can even find a smartphone with a Full HD display. 😃 Also, Lenovo and HTC are really good at making low-cost phones these days that have impressively high specs, so I suggest you take a look at their best phones as well.

  2. Great list! It’s always amazing to me how broad the selection of Android phones to choose from is! I’ve actually never heard of a single one of these phones other than the Samsung S3. I have another Samsung phone but it lacks a lot of the features the ones in this list have. I was really surprised to find that of all the phones you’ve listed here. Do you have an Android phone? Which of these are your favorite?

    1. Hellow there! Thanks. Samsung has the largest market share in sales in the mobile industry right now. So it is normal to only know the Samsung S3 from the list. In fact, it was Samsung’s flagship smartphone in 2012.

      There are more smartphone brands that have good quality smartphones at a very cheap price. You may explore them anytime on this website. We always look for places online and make suggestions on where you can find the cheapest offer.

      Yes, I have an Android phone, and I love it. 🙂 Currently, I have the HTC Desire Eye above which I got for a very cheap offer on Amazon and I also have the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I always have a separate phone for work and a personal phone. 😀

  3. Hi Chris,
    I really need this guide! I have always loved HTC phones. The quality is truly amazing. I purchased one back in 2011 but I couldn’t really download any apps on the phone. I do not know much about phones, but I remember them not having google play store. I was wondering if anything changed? I hope this isn’t a silly question?

    1. Hello Natasha, no it is not a silly question. 🙂 Many are also looking for the answer to this. I also love HTC phones. HTC phones run on Android which is a mobile OS developed by Google. So all Android phones have the Google Play Store app.

      It is possible that something accidentally turned it off. If this happens again, you just have to go to the App Manager in Settings, look for the Google Play Store and turn it on. 🙂

  4. For an under $200 smartphone, I would recommend using Lenovo A7000. I have been using it for a year when it first released and it have been a fine partner for me. the speed of the phone is good but not great. However, there are some cons about this phone especially when you are surfing or gaming the battery does not last very long and also inside the 8gig of memory in the phone are mostly useless apps.

    1. I agree with you, the speed is enough to enjoy a good Android experience. This is the best you can get from mid-range smartphones for a US$200 budget. Faster smartphones come with a hefty price tag.

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the battery. The good thing about the battery of the Lenovo A7000 is that it is removable unlike in more expensive phones. You can carry an extra one if you can’t charge for a longer period or use a good power bank.

      If you already used it for more than 1 year, the battery performance may not be as good when it was new and this is normal. You can easily replace if it anytime because it is removable.

      That’s true. The 8GB internal storage is not the most you can get because the system files will also occupy space and there are some pre-installed apps that we actually don’t need. Since you can use a 32GB microSD card with the Lenovo A7000, your storage will be 4 times bigger. 😀

  5. Great reviews, my most experience is with the HTC phones. The only thing I don’t like about it is the camera, switching over to the iphone really blew me away with how good the the camera was. Anyways great review and I would like to see something about modifying iphones and personalizing them. Only if you can:)

    1. Hey thadpoore, thanks. HTC makes a lot of smartphones, some with a camera that is good, some with a poor one. You may have experienced it with a low to mid-range smartphone of HTC. Definitely, an iPhone camera is a lot better because it is a high-end smartphone. And excellent smartphone cameras come with a higher price tag.

      If ever you will be replacing your iPhone after one or more years from now, aside from resolution, you must look at the sensor size, pixel size, and aperture size. If you will compare the latest iPhone 6s camera with the HTC 10 (the latest flagship of HTC), HTC 10’s camera will impress you more, because they have higher specs for sensor size and camera pixel size.

      Yeah sure, just send me a PM of the personalizations you need so that I can share some ideas. 🙂 Have a great day!

  6. Great job reviewing so many of the cheaper smartphones. Interesting how they are mostly Chinese/Taiwanese brands, with the exception of Samsung.

    I like the big battery on the Lenovo P70 since I have been playing a lot of Clash Royale lately, so having a bigger battery is definitely a plus! The 3000mAH on my Samsung Note Edge just doesn’t cut it for me anymore!

    1. Hey Michael! Yeah, you will not definitely see an iPhone in this budget category. Even Samsung’s mid-range phones are a little more expensive at first, I mean why not, their brand is getting more and more popular every day and they keep releasing high-quality and innovative flagship smartphones.

      But for low to mid-range smartphones, if consumers are extensively examining the specs vs price, they will realize it’s a little more pricey (relative to the specs) compared to the low to mid-range smartphones HTC, Lenovo, or Huawei.

      I agree with you. I used to have a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ with the same 3000 mAh capacity, the battery runs out fast despite turning off many background apps. It’s a good thing they have improved the battery by about 25% in the Galaxy S7 series.

      Nevertheless, if you want a budget phone with longer battery life, Lenovo P70 is one of the best choices.

  7. Gotta love this list, Chris. I’m always interested in phones and it’s interesting to know how cheap you can buy a phone for.

    I spot a few Huawei phones on this list. I’ve heard a few good things about it but I’m not very fond of chinese companies though. What do you think of their quality, especially compared to other brands?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Anh

    1. Hey Anh, thanks. I think not all Chinese smartphone brands are equal in terms of quality. But Chinese brands like Huawei and Lenovo have proved their worth. Both brands are major players in the mobile industry. As of 4Q of 2015, Samsung has the biggest global market share, followed by Apple, then Huawei, and Lenovo being the 4th.

      People are buying these Chinese brand smartphones for a reason. These Chinese brands are also spending a lot on quality and innovation. Huawei even spent more than US$8 billion in research and development in 2015 for their smartphones, which is higher than what Apple spent in the same period.

      So I think with these four brands, the search for quality now comes down to the model of the smartphone instead of the brand alone.

      When looking at a model, the main clue for the level of quality is usually the price tag. Apple only makes premium quality smartphones, more expensive, but you are assured of quality. Now we cannot compare Apple with Huawei and Lenovo because Huawei and Lenovo smartphones sell at an average of US$200 per unit (2015 data). Definitely, Apple would win when we compare their features and overall quality.

      Samsung also has smartphones but also have their low-cost models. Comparing the low-cost models of Samsung with the Chinese brands will make sense and I think all these three brands produce low-cost good quality smartphones. So now, you just need to look at the features one by one and the price that comes with it.

      And that’s the reason we made this list. 😀

  8. Hi Chris,

    This is such a great idea. It will especially be helpful for expats (like myself) to have a list of already ‘sorted’ devices to choose from for relatives back home. It will save a lot of time. I think my best bet would be HTC. Love the fact that it’s waterproof. Definitely worth its price.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Rocky

    1. Good for you Rock! HTC phones normally have some special feature in them from being waterproof, having the best selfie camera, a unique design or a high-resolution audio which are not even present in most expensive smartphones. And this is one of the several reasons why many people love this brand. 😀

  9. Hi there Chris and thanks for detailing all these ten phones for under two hundred dollars. As I’m in the UK, the price will probably be equivalent in Sterling.
    You don’t actually say which of these mobiles you actually prefer. This would be helpful to me as I’m now rather spoilt for choice.
    We have the problem here in the countryside of Wales, UK where the phone signal is not strong and it’s difficult to receive at certain times of the day. Is there any way to know if some phones have stronger receivers than others?
    The huawei phones are being heavily advertised here in the UK at the moment and they really appear to be very good value for money. Thanks for an informative review. Ches

    1. Hi Ches, I prefer the HTC Desire Eye because (as of the time of this comment) it has the best specs in the list.

      The latest mobile phones don’t have a significant difference in antenna performance. And this slight difference is usually due to the design and materials used for the phones. There are feedbacks from users that current smartphones with a metal unibody have slightly lower signal strength.

      This is because mobile signals cannot go through metal, so manufacturers integrate plastic in the metal design (e.g. plastic lines in the bottom and top rear for an iPhone). The body of the phones in this list is made of plastic so we can eliminate that factor for now when comparing the signal strength.

      Instead, you should consider other factors when dealing with signal strength.

      First, you may try all network modes in Settings (i.e. LTE/3G, 3G only) if you are using Android and check which has the best signal strength. If you are getting a new smartphone, you should also check the GSM/3G/LTE bands of the smartphone and check if it’s available in your location and with your chosen carrier.

      Second, you need to check the carriers and the closest available cell towers near you. You may use this link here http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/search.

  10. Hey Chris, nice article and I’m not the low budget phone guy, but it was still cool what you can get with $200! If it were up to me I would get the LG Stylo 2 because it looks really stylish and has some great qualitites! But, the IPhone 7 is coming out next month and I think I will stick with Apple. But, Good Post!

  11. I must admit, I’m getting bored of my outdated Samsung Alpha, so I’m now on the hunt for a more up to date and brand new smartphone, so I can be in the cool club. LOL.

    There are some awesome recomemndations here, and quite cheap handsets too. 🙂

    Since I’ve always been a Sony fan too, I think the Xperia Z1 is defitinely the phone for me…. I really like the style and also the specifications of the device.

    Cheers
    Neil

  12. Hey there! I really enjoyed your top 10 list of best phones under 200. I’m searching for a new phone that I can give for my brother for his brithday. I don’t want to spend too much because I only have $250 budget. Your list helps me a lot since I don’t have a lot of knowldge about it. And I don’t have the time to research each one of them. Thank you for sharing this information.

  13. Hello,

    I’m looking for a new phone for my wife and landed on your site. I just finished reading your article on Best Phones Under $200 Dollars – Top 10 List. I really like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact phone. I think I’m going to buy that one for my wife and the price is right too!

    Jack

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